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Parliament research and fact sheets

How academic research can be used

Relevant, credible, and independent research is essential for good scrutiny and informed debate. Many types and sources of evidence are essential for good scrutiny and debate. This includes academic research. 

There are different users of academic research in the Scottish Parliament:

  • MSPs
  • staff working for MSPs
  • staff working in research units within political parties
  • staff working in the Parliament, e.g. in Committees, or in the Parliament’s impartial information centre (SPICe).

There are different ways to provide academic expertise:

  • giving oral evidence to committees
  • providing written evidence as part of a public committee enquiry
  • writing or contributing to SPICe Briefings and/or SPICe Spotlight blogs
  • becoming a committee advisor
  • speaking at a SPICe Seminar
  • becoming a SPICe Fellow   
  • responding to a call for Commissioned Research
  • joining a Cross-Party Group   

Research may be used:

  • to prepare MSP’s ahead of Chamber debates
  • to inform MSPs when working on subject committees
  • in SPICe blogs and briefings
  • to reply to MSPs’ constituents’ enquiries 
  • to assist when submitting questions to the Government
  • to help prepare for meetings or public speeches
  • to maintain current awareness in policy areas